[SOLVED] amd ryzen 5, 5600x and Arctic MX4 and brand new unused stock wraith cooler application questions

andrepartthree

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Hi guys sorry for the dumb question here ... purchased this (AMD Ryzen 5 , 5600x processor)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08166SLDF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&fbclid=IwAR2Nj1FzmkgV_xAdGWED05ofgxVuETAlmbPkHGdgbO4ZdQg3i_g9AsZoNrE&th=1

not sure if the motherboard in terms of the thermal paste question I'm asking but here it is anyways :)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089VY5WVM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&fbclid=IwAR1T8iQyX_SEruVKGJ1k-TxKRRUBaZ_mci4ZIpFSx_kauq_Cs3lR_zedmc0

and bought this thermal paste to use instead of the one that came with the wraith stock cooler that I plan on using (the PC case isn't exactly the largest sized one and definitely do not plan on overclocking - no sir - and I know the stock cooler will fit in the PC case), Arctic MX-4

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GCRN83J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

The thing is the stock cooler comes with thermal paste already pre-applied.. I know you're supposed to use 90 percent rubbing alcohol and a coffee filter to remove old thermal paste.. but is this necessary when it's a brand new CPU, brand new motherboard and brand new cooler? Or to put it another way can I just scrape the thermal paste that came with this off with say a business card? Or better to just be safe and go the rubbing alcohol/q-tip method anyways?

Also could I get away with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol instead of the 90 percent solution in this particular situation far as removing the brand new unused thermal paste that comes on the stock cooler? (have an unopened bottle of that 70 percent lying around at home trying to pinch some pennies with putting the kids through school :) .. but don't want to wreck the CPU either that would be more expensive than buying the 90 percent alcohol solution ! )

Also far as applying the Arctic MX4 .. and I know this is a dumb question :) .. but despite it being an AMD Ryzen 5 , 5600x processor as opposed to the i5 in the tom's hardware thread I linked below, the method here (pea method) would still work best right?


finally .. here's a link to a video.. if you fast forward to the two minute thirty second mark.. do you agree that this is a good amount of thermal paste to apply as far as the pea method?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=123Ls9svoqQ


thanks in advance to anyone who reads this and replies :)
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
70% isopropyl alcohol can be used if you mostly get the OEM thermal interface material off first, gently like, using a plastic scraper or credit card, so as not to scratch the mounting surface, but it works like crap. 91% cuts a heck of a lot better and costs like four bucks for a bottle big enough to clean every CPU and heatsink you'll ever own for the rest of your life from any Walmart or similar type store.

But yeah, if you get most of the TIM off first, then use the 70%, it will work, it will just require a lot more effort and you'll need to allow it to dry just a bit longer.

As far as the application of the Arctic paste is concerned, the five dot application is fine for your cooler which has low mounting pressure unlike most aftermarket coolers that have high mounting pressure, but you don't need quite that much for each dot. That size dot in the middle with four dots about half the size of the ones you see there and maybe just about half the distance it shows from the center dot, should be fine. For that matter, a single dot in the center about twice the size of the one shown there, and no other dots, will also work perfectly fine for low mounting pressure stock coolers like the Wraith cooler. I've installed at least ten of them that way on Ryzen platforms and works fine. Spread and coverage is excellent.

MX4 is a very decent choice as well.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
70% isopropyl alcohol can be used if you mostly get the OEM thermal interface material off first, gently like, using a plastic scraper or credit card, so as not to scratch the mounting surface, but it works like crap. 91% cuts a heck of a lot better and costs like four bucks for a bottle big enough to clean every CPU and heatsink you'll ever own for the rest of your life from any Walmart or similar type store.

But yeah, if you get most of the TIM off first, then use the 70%, it will work, it will just require a lot more effort and you'll need to allow it to dry just a bit longer.

As far as the application of the Arctic paste is concerned, the five dot application is fine for your cooler which has low mounting pressure unlike most aftermarket coolers that have high mounting pressure, but you don't need quite that much for each dot. That size dot in the middle with four dots about half the size of the ones you see there and maybe just about half the distance it shows from the center dot, should be fine. For that matter, a single dot in the center about twice the size of the one shown there, and no other dots, will also work perfectly fine for low mounting pressure stock coolers like the Wraith cooler. I've installed at least ten of them that way on Ryzen platforms and works fine. Spread and coverage is excellent.

MX4 is a very decent choice as well.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I disagree. I've tested all three stock AMD coolers with both the OEM thermal pad and with Thermal Grizzly, and there was about a 7°C difference, just by changing the paste. I believe this to be because the thickness of the pre-applied thermal pad is too thick for optimal heat transfer compared to much more viscous TIM that flows into the microscopic pores in the metal and outwards, leaving more minimal distance between the two metal surfaces. Keep in mind, thermal interface material is NOT there to improve heat transfer across the two surfaces in it's entirety. It's there ONLY to bridge the gap between the lowest microscopic points on each surface so that there is more complete contact between the surfaces. Increasing the distance between both the bottom of the heatsink and the top of the CPU heat spreader DECREASES that capability, and with a thicker surface the result is you end up with LESS area that is directly metal to metal, which is what you ACTUALLY want, direct metal to metal.

The best heat transfer possible would happen with two COMPLETELY flat surfaces with no porosity at all, and 100% full contact across the entirety of the two surfaces with NO interface material in between. But even with the best of surfaces there is always going to be porosity, regardless of lapping/flatness, so TIM is necessary to fill those ridges and valleys and gain at least some measure of heat transfer in those areas.

Long winded aside over with, point is, IMO any cooler that comes with a pre-applied thermal pad should have it removed, cleaned and a good quality (Doesn't need to be anything super special like liquid metals, crushed diamond, etc.) thermal paste applied. Might even be MORE important on coolers with low mounting pressure. High quality aftermarket coolers with high mounting pressure NEVER come with pre-applied thermal interface materials, except AIO liquid coolers, and on those I'd still recommend doing the same thing.
 

andrepartthree

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thank you everyone who replied and thank you darkbreeze for always coming to my rescue on this and other threads that I've posted I really appreciate you all :) ...

Strangely enough at my local Walmart store they insist on selling only a twin pack of 90 percent rubbing alcohol / isopropyl alcohol which is strange, not sure why they do that .. but CVS has a 16 ounce bottle for a little under three dollars (makes sense I guess it's a drugstore/pharmacy :) ) ... so I will absolutely do that and just grab the 90 percent bottle instead, thank you :) .. and thanks for the advice on how much thermal paste to add too that's a huge help especially coming from someone who has built so many PC's using this particular CPU, stock cooler and thermal paste :) ...

https://www.cvs.com/shop/cvs-health-91-isopropyl-alcohol-prodid-1011920
 
Anytime man. And I'm sure that goes for everybody here, not just me.
Certainly goes for me. And I'm like you, I'll never use a pre-applied thermal compound, I'll always use alcohol to clean it off and apply my own.

Was happy I'd used Thermal Grizzly on my 3700x when it came to removing it and fitting this 5900x. Very slight twist of the cooler and off it came, you would never get that with pre-applied AMD thermal paste.

OP, you were already doing it how I would do it by getting your own thermal compound. And it'll be of benefit later if you have to remove the chip to upgrade, it'll come off pretty easily. None of this chip getting ripped out of the board shenanigans that happens to some, although heating the heatsink up using a hairdryer after 30 minutes of Cinebench and then cutting through the old thermal paste using dental floss having twisted the cooler is something people don't tend to think of doing, hence the rip outs.
 
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andrepartthree

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thanks for that John :) ... that is really, really good information to know, that the pre-applied thermal paste (which I'm guessing is "cheap" thus creating the problem) is so hard to get off that you can wreck the CPU , sadly I used the pre-applied thermal paste on the AMD 3 series Ryzen in my daughter's PC build so I will definitely keep that in mind should I have to remove the CPU and/or stock cooler (hopefully not!) ..

.. and wrecking the CPU .. man, I so learned that the hard way :) , followed a youtube video that said " Hey just apply firm pressure and twist the stock cooler and you can remove the CPU you'll be fine! " and totally wrecked my CPU in the process although that was several years ago with my AMD FX6350 so not as painful now to think about now as it was back then :p ... I did some online research after that and I've heard about using intensive online applications (I figured I would just do some serious PC gaming to heat up the CPU though :p .. good to know about the Cinebench I'll keep that in mind :) ) to heat up the CPU and then using dental floss ... but the hairdryer thing is new to me ... if you don't mind me asking how long would you say is "safe" to aim the hairdryer and blow it's hot air at where the stock cooler meets the CPU ?
 
To be honest, I only used the hairdryer to try and keep the CPU as warm as possible while I cut it using the dental floss, resting it against something while pointing it at the heatsink. I probably didn't need to at all. I doubt you need that if you run a decent half hour of Cinebench, shut down and try to twist the cooler off or cut it with floss. It'll all be hot enough.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
As far as cleaning the cpu, honestly I just use an old sock.
Sorry Ohio, but that's a terrible idea. The whole point of cleaning the surfaces and using a thermal compound is to reduce or as much as possible, eliminate, any change in elevation between the mating surfaces. Pores and ridges are compensated for through the use of TIM, and using something like a sock that absolutely, 100%, without any doubt, leaves tiny bits of lint and debris behind is not a great idea. In addition to that, any such bits, pieces, residue or debris will not only increase the probability of an air gap, but even without any gap it will still act like an insulator which is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish by using an interface material in the first place. Even using a paper towel, tissues or toilet paper, unless it's in a pinch, isn't a great idea. I've seen what gets left behind using these measures and I assure you that even compressed between the parts they present a larger obstacle to obtaining true flat between the parts than the microscopic pores and ridges inherent to the metal itself does.

Now, it's probably not as big of a deal with a low pressure mounting cooler because the thickness of the TIM is probably going to compensate for most of that since there isn't much force involved, but if you're working with a high pressure mounting cooler you would be a lot wiser to use either lint free cloths like those used in transmission repair shops, or microfiber lint free wiping cloths or paper coffee filters. None of which leave anything of significance behind.
 
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Sorry Ohio, but that's a terrible idea. The whole point of cleaning the surfaces and using a thermal compound is to reduce or as much as possible, eliminate, any change in elevation between the mating surfaces. Pores and ridges are compensated for through the use of TIM, and using something like a sock that absolutely, 100%, without any doubt, leaves tiny bits of lint and debris behind is not a great idea. In addition to that, any such bits, pieces, residue or debris will not only increase the probability of an air gap, but even without any gap it will still act like an insulator which is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish by using an interface material in the first place. Even using a paper towel, tissues or toilet paper, unless it's in a pinch, isn't a great idea. I've seen what gets left behind using these measures and I assure you that even compressed between the parts they present a larger obstacle to obtaining true flat between the parts than the microscopic pores and ridges inherent to the metal itself does.

Now, it's probably not as big of a deal with a low pressure mounting cooler because the thickness of the TIM is probably going to compensate for most of that since there isn't much force involved, but if you're working with a high pressure mounting cooler you would be a lot wiser to use either lint free cloths like those used in transmission repair shops, or microfiber lint free wiping cloths or paper coffee filters. None of which leave anything of significance behind.
No problem. The last few times that’s what I’ve had on hand. But as far as using alcohol, I’m a tech and haven’t really ever done it that way even on my personal system. I know that’s supposed to be the proper way. Then again I’m also the guy who puts a dot of paste on the cpu and spreads it with my finger. Either way the big thing is be careful with it and do a decent job and usually you won’t have problems. However definitely try not to leave lint. If it’s something you do a lot probably find better material than a sock lol.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Fair enough. :)

For the record though, using your finger to spread thermal paste probably also isn't a great idea. The oils from your skin have been known to not only emulsify the base in some thermal pastes, creating pockets in the coverage, but also can oxidize or dissolve the nickel plating on the CPU IHS depending on the person and the degree to which their personal exudates are reactive. One persons might not have much effect at all while anothers might visually corrupt the surface within a matter of months. Obviously, these are worst case scenarios but it's always good to be aware of them and avoid creating potential for issues where there need not be any.
 
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